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Arch Iran Med. 2009 Sep;12(5):468-71.

Experience of water birth delivery in Iran.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Medical Unit, Tehran, Iran.



Having considered the physiologic challenges during pregnancy, scientists have searched for different delivery methods with minimal medical intervention. The use of water immersion by women for relaxing during labor is being used worldwide. We aimed to evaluate the controversies surrounding water birth and to find out the interest of Iranian women in this delivery method.


In a randomized clinical trial, 106 pregnant women were assigned to control and experimental groups. The experimental group underwent the labor and delivery in standardized warm water pools. The control group gave birth by conventional delivery method at the hospital. A questionnaire was completed during the labor for women in both control and experimental groups including the method of delivery; labor length; use of different drugs such as analgesics, opiates, antispasmodic, and oxytocin; use of episiotomy, and newborn's Apgar score and weight.


Totally, 53 cases and 53 controls with the mean age of 26.4+/-5.9 and 27.1+/-5.9 years, respectively, completed the study. Women in the control group required oxytocin, antispasmodics, opiates, and analgesics more frequently than those in the experimental group (P<0.001). Meanwhile, the active phase and the third stage of labor were shorter experimental group by 72 and 1.3 minutes, respectively (P<0.004, and P<0.04). All the participants in the experimental group gave birth naturally, whereas only 79.2< of the controls had normal vaginal delivery.


Our results revealed the advantage of water birth delivery. Those who gave water birth experienced less pain and completed the delivery sooner. Meanwhile, normal vaginal delivery was accomplished more frequently with this group. These all lead to a decreased necessity for medical interventions as well as an increased socioeconomic advantage for the society.

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